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Unwanted babies awaiting adoption at a Church-run home in India. Many unborn children are aborted each year.

Young Indians run to fight abortion

Philip Mathew, Bangalore

August 04 2010

Some 5,000 people, mostly young Catholics, pounded the streets of central Bangalore in a run which capped a joint Church-rite campaign against abortion.

The "mini-marathon" on Aug. 1 in the capital of Karnataka state was organized by the Santhome Youth Association (SYA), a Syro-Malabar group.

The 9.9-kilometer run, signifying the nine months and nine days of the human gestation period, was also sponsored by the local Latin rite archdiocese and its institutions.

Participants held up placards condemning abortion and urged the state and federal governments to take steps to put a stop to the practice.

Educational events against abortion and female infanticide were also held in different colleges in the run-up to the marathon, SYA executive director Father Cherian Thunduparambil told

"Abortion is a gross violation of human rights and against God's will," he said.

An exhibition and a poster display against abortion were also staged as a part of the event.

Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore later addressed a gathering attended by sports people and civic and political leaders, during which he reiterated the Catholic Church's strong opposition to abortion.

About 42 million lives are lost each year to abortion, Father Cherian said.

Female feticide, the aborting of female fetuses because of a preference for male babies, is widespread in India. It has led to a national sex-ratio of 933 females to every 1,000 males, according to the SYA.

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